Ayanda Malinga, who had to withdraw from the squad prior to departure to Perth last month, is also back in the national squad.

Arries, who was capped by the Springbok Women in 2021, made her World Series debut in Toulouse in 2022 and following a spell on the sidelines while she was on maternity leave, the speedster has now earned a recall to national duty.

Augustyn, who is busy with her master’s degree in civil engineering at the University of Stellenbosch this year, represented South Africa at the Commonwealth Games in 2022, but has not yet played in the World Series.

“It is great to have Ayanda and Alichia back as they will both add speed to our team, especially as playing on an artificial pitch like we will have at BC Place, will reward speed.

“I am also very happy for Bianca. She has been part of our development squad since last year and has worked hard. We need to expand our base as we still have a long season ahead of us with the Olympic Games also on the calendar, and Bianca will get much needed experience on this trip.”

The Springbok Women’s Sevens will again be pooled with some form teams (Ireland, New Zealand and Brazil), but Dazel is unfazed.

Ireland won their first World Series tournament in Perth last month, New Zealand are the defending series champions and Brazil are placed eighth on the overall log, the position Dazel and his squad have earmarked to secure core status for next season.

Bianca Augustyn is in line to make her Blazebok debut in Vancouver.

Bianca Augustyn is in line to make her Blazebok debut in Vancouver.

“Our goals are clear: we are going to Canada to compete, there is no other option,” he said. “We want to finish in the top eight and to do that, we must start making quarter-finals, so there is a real drive and desire from within.

“Our opening game against Ireland will have some real spice, as their coach, Alan Temple-Jones, was the strength and conditioning coach with the Springbok Sevens for many years and we are still friends,” added Dazel, who has been capped 32 times by the Blitzboks.

“We believe our last game against New Zealand, in the season opener in Dubai, was our best performance so far and we were unlucky to lose in the final minute. We also owe Brazil one, after they outplayed us 7-0 in Perth last time around.”

Dazel said he was happy with the improvement shown by the players over the first three tournaments.

“In Perth, we won back-to-back matches for the first time and that was a massive boost to our confidence in our system,” said Dazel.

“There is a belief that we are doing the right things and are on the right track, both from management and players. So, we will travel to Canada with the clear understanding that we are in control of our destiny.”

Pool fixtures (SA times, all matches on SuperSport):

Friday, 23 February
22h36: Ireland

Saturday, 24 February
03h08: New Zealand
20h59: Brazil

Springbok Women’s Sevens squad:

#4 Zintle Mpupha (co-captain) – 7 tournaments, 50 points (10 tries)
#13 Kemisetso Baloyi – 3 tournaments, 0 points
#14 Simamkele Namba – 4 tournaments, 10 points (2 tries)
#18 Shiniqwa Lamprecht – 3 tournaments, 0 points
#23 Bianca Augustyn – upcapped
#8 Shona-Leah Weston – 4 tournaments; 5 points (1 try)

#10 Mathrin Simmers (co-captain) – 16 tournaments, 35 points (7 tries)
#9 Nadine Roos – 8 tournaments, 115 points (15 tries, 20 conversions)
#5 Marlize de Bruin – 4 tournaments, 5 points (1 try)
#16 Maria Tshiremba – 3 tournaments, 20 points (4 tries)
#15 Alichia Arries – 1 tournament, 0 points
#7 Eloise Webb – 5 tournaments, 7 points (1 try, 1 conversion)
#3 Ayanda Malinga – 3 tournaments, 25 points (5 tries)